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Australia’s Speciality Fashion chief remains cautious

Specialty Fashion’s sales are up for the start of fiscal 2013, but the Australian womenswear retailer’s CEO Gary Perlstein says shoppers are too fickle for him to predict improved trading conditions.

Perlstein told the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday that trading since July had been encouraging with gross margin improvements and single digit comparable sales growth after a disappointing 2011/12.

Specialty Fashion sales were up only 0.4 percent for the year to 30 June which in turn resulted in earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of AUD21.7 million (USD22.6m) and an after tax loss of AUD2.8m.